10 Tokyo tips

Japan is a peculiar country, to put it mildly. As westerner you end up in a completely different world. These 10 Tokyo tips are a must-read for your trip.

Tokyo Trip

Ah, a city trip of five days? Where to this time, Copenhagen or Lisbon? Uhm, no… to Tokyo. You can already imagine the strange looks you’d be getting. The reason for going was an excellent rate with Qatar Airways. So, we unexpectedly flew to the land of the rising sun.

10 Tokyo tips

With these 10 Tokyo tips you can get a head start in the Japanese capital. Even though you could probably make a list of well over a hundred tips for visiting this strange country. We were often in awe about all that was happening around us, and the Japanese looked back at us in the same way. Here’s an overview of our Tokyo tips.

1. Having a drink between the animals…

Having a pint with your colleagues? Over in Tokyo this happens in small, yet quite loud, karaoke rooms. Looking for something a bit calmer? Visit one of the cat pubs, and indulge in a nice cup of coffee or read a book amidst the thirty cats that inhabit the pubs. Of course, the cats will only come purring to you if you have a bowl of chicken for them to nibble on. Different variants exists with hedgehogs, owls, and loads of other animals. Something different than your run of the mill pub…

tokyo tips

Calico cat café

tokyo tips

kattencafe tokyo

2. Going to the loo requires some technical know-how…

After going a number two you have to choose between spray, and soft spray. You have to manage the pressure of the sprinklers, and the temperature of the toilet seat. A visit to the restroom is not as simple as you might think. If you’re lucky, instructions are also in English…

tokyo tips

3. The Japanese like to dress up…

After going a number two you have to choose between spray, and soft spray. You have to manage the pressure of the sprinklers, and the temperature of the toilet seat. A visit to the restroom is not as simple as you might think. If you’re lucky, instructions are also in English…

tokyo tips

tokyo tips

4. Use of public transit…

Public transit is cheap and punctual, but do not underestimate the distances inside of the city. Even at Tokyo central station alone we had to take twenty minutes to depart. Don’t expect to find any social fellow passengers, as silently staring at your phone is apparently the norm. Having a phone call is prohibited, as to not disturb anyone. It’s not made any easier by the white caps everyone seems to wear.

tokyo tips

tokyo tips

5. Pick your dish on the streets…

Ordering food in English is a disaster. Barely anyone understands the language, let alone speaks it. Luckily enough, all food can be found on the streets. All dishes on the menu have a plastic equivalent on display, so just point at whatever looks appetising and Bob’s your uncle.

tokyo tips

6. Get something from a machine…

Japanese people put pretty much anything into machines, with a wide range of crazy colours and silly shapes being the norm. Guaranteed to overwhelm you and make picking anything close to impossible!

tokyo tips

7. You can’t enter everywhere…

Neighbourhoods like Shinjuku are very welcoming if you want to visit the regular tourist traps, like robot shows. Commercials alone are enough to give you a spontaneous seizure. Us romantic travel bloggers however, wanted to have a look at some so-called love hotels. Thematic rooms where locals ‘catch-up’ for a couple of hours at a time. Unfortunately, as non-Japanese people we were denied entry. The racists J

tokyo tips

8. Taste Japanese cuisine…

After a couple of days, the Japanese kitchen started to bore us somewhat. Having miso soup for breakfast becomes a tiring affair after a while, but that’s not to say we haven’t had some extraordinary dishes during our time in Japan. Like the Japanese version of McDonalds, where they serve wasabi fish burgers. Allow yourself to be surprised, and learn to eat with chopsticks.

tokyo tips

tokyo tips

tokyo tips

9. Go out and play Pachinko…

Pachinko is a Japanese gambling game, and we wanted to put it to the test. Buildings of towering heights are filled to the brim with arcade cabinets, and an equal amount of locals spending hours upon hours looking at the little balls go. To boot, this all takes place under deafening noises. Instant stress, and irritation. Don’t believe us? Walk into an establishment and experience it for yourself.

tokyo tips

10. Go to the Imperial Palace on time…

No trip is complete without experiencing some local history and indulging in some cultural affairs. What better way to do this than by paying a visit to the emperor himself? Unfortunately, only the first 120 visitors are allowed to visit the royal palace. We were amongst hundreds of other tourists who hadn’t done their homework beforehand. A look at the palace was all we got, and frankly not worth the trip.

tokyo tips

tokyo tips

Conclusion

Japan was a unique experience, a mix between tradition and the modern world. Maybe even somewhat of a cultural shock. Tokyo did not manage to steal our heart. Too busy, too big, and all around just not really our thing. A schizophrenic freak show with overbearing crowds. The Japanese people also don’t seem like the most hospitable and happy people, not even when they are all dressed up…

tokyo tips

 

Tokyo tips

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